I officially have a fussy toddler. It was bound to happen sooner or later. It’s definitely time to get sneaky.
Misty loves plain pasta, plain noodles, plain rice. No “bits” please. No sauce, no nothing. Awesome. He’s actually pretty good with snacking on vegetables (think carrot sticks, peas, sweet potato cubes, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes) so I’m not too concerned with having him eat 3 “balanced” meals a day – he’s a grazer, just like me. Lot’s of nutritious snacks & smoothies throughout the day – maybe I’m lazy but I’m not going to make him sit down and force him to eat a huge plateful of food at breakfast, lunch & dinner if that’s not the way his appetite works. Back to the plain pasta obsession….. I have a sneaky trick up my sleeve:
“Bone broth is a flavourful liquid made by boiling the bones of just about any vertebrate you can think of (typically poultry, beef, bison, lamb, or fish) in water for an extended period of time (typically anywhere from 4 hours to 40 hours!). Often vegetables and herbs are added (typically carrots, onion, celery, garlic and I like to add bay leaves too). The bones from mammals need to be sawed open, whereas fowl and fish bones don’t. The used bones and vegetables are strained from the liquid and typically discarded. The resulting liquid is called “broth” or “stock” and is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (especially calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, which are essential for bone health) . Most importantly, bone broth is also particularly rich in two very special amino acids: proline and glycine.” SOURCE
Obviously , this is not an option for vegans (I apologize to my vegan readers – of course, a home made veggie stock is a good alternative, but unfortunately, won’t quite pack the nutritional punch that a bone broth wields) but the fact of the matter is that Viper and Misty eat meat. I think using every possible part of a slaughtered animal is the most respectful thing to do – if there is going to be a dead animal in my fridge, I am going to honour it’s sacrifice by using every little tiny part of it (hippie rant).
So that’s it, my dirty little secret – buy organic, free range meat and get the MOST bang for your buck. Chicken, beef, fish – whatever you buy, use ALL of the animal. If you are using beef, try to get a variety of bones for maximum nutrients. A whole chicken will provide us with at least a couple of manly-sized meals, toddler pickings, scraps for the dog, PLUS a whole lot of glorious bone broth (or stock, whatever you like to call it). Value for money AND huge nutritional benefits is a win in my book. All you need to do is chuck everything in a large pot (add whatever you like see the suggestions in the quote above) and let it simmer away. You can use this as a traditional broth, a base for a more complex soup/stew/casserole, add to sauces for extra wow factor, add to baby food/veggie puree – the uses for this stuff are endless. You can even partake in a bit of toddler-trickery.
Cook your regular pasta/noodles/rice in bone broth – it adds flavour AND nutrition, and little people LOVE it. It really makes you wonder what goes into those “stock” cubes you can get at the supermarket, doesn’t it? I will take boiled bones over a tiny foil wrapped square ANY day, thankyouverymuch.